The online forums do not allow such heavily
“religious” articles, so this one will only be published on my
blog.  This was initially intended as a
message for the pre-teens in our Bible study group but it was cancelled, so
hopefully this will be well received here, online!
For years, we have watched American Ninja Warrior.  We know about Kacy Catanzaro, the five foot
tall girl who was the first female to make it through the course.  She has over 10 million views on youtube.  We are very familiar with the announcers, and
some of the other ninja warriors. 
A few nights ago, we were able to go to the American Ninja
Warrior event.  They placed us at the
gate where all of the announcers, host and Ninja Warriors were.  We were within inches of the announcers, were
able to talk to the ninja warriors and even take pictures with Kacy.
It felt cool – the very fact that we were so close to them
for a few fleeting moments was exciting. 
Do you know of someone on tv or elsewhere that you would love to
meet?  Imagine being able to meet them
and take a picture with them – get their autograph. 
This was Jesus to a lot of people about 2,000 years
ago.  He preached, cast out demons,
healed people, drew a crowd wherever he went, performed various miracles.  He didn’t try to sell people on following
Him.  Sure, He did say “follow
me” but He also said it was going to be hard.  He was a very polarizing figure.  People either loved Him or hated Him. 
Imagine seeing a street magic performer – they draw crowds,
but it is all an illusion, and it generally involves playing cards.  What Jesus did was not an illusion, and He
was healing people – that is going to draw some attention!
This same person – Jesus – was also predicting some pretty
far-fetched and morbid things. 
20: 17-19
NIV says …
[ Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time ] Now Jesus was going up to
Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “We are going
up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests
and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him
over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day
he will be raised to life!”
Look … it is easy to predict your death.  I can’t tell you a date or time but all of us
will die.  On earth, there is a 1 to 1
ratio that for everyone one person who is born, one will die.  That is just how it works!  Jesus predicted he would die. 
The real fascinating part – the impressive part would be
predicting you will be raised back to life … and have it happen.
Imagine what the followers of Jesus went through!  Try to put yourself in their shoes.  Your friends and family already know that you
have been closely following this Jesus character.  Religious leaders and officials openly oppose
Him.  And here you are following this
“lunatic” around – better yet – Jesus says He is going to be raised
from the dead?!
Have you ever believed something was true just because
someone told you it was true, and they sounded reliable?  And when challenged on its reliability,
instead of considering it was not true, you argue with all your might saying it
is true … even though you don’t know for sure? 
At 7 years old, I ran to my parents excitedly because a
friend’s older brother said he was selling a money making machine for $10!  Parents looked at each other & laughed,
assuring me he did not.  They were right.
At 13 years old, I was selling some baseball cards, and a
friend’s uncle came out looking at them. 
He pulled out a HUGE wad of cash, and flipped through it as if he were
going to buy from me.  I asked and he
said he would buy the cards … later.  I
ran inside to get more cards to show him. 
When my parents asked what I was doing, I told them about the man that
pulled out a ton of money and flashed all that cash in front of me.  They looked at each other again like they did
when I told them about the money maker, and told me he wouldn’t be buying. 
This made me upset! 
My parents were not only trying to tell me someone was lying to me
without seeing what happened, if I were to believe them, I would have to
believe that I was not about to make a lot of money.  I argued with them and told them he showed me
the money. 
At this point, not only did I want the money … I wanted to
prove my parents wrong.  And that didn’t
happen.  It worked out just like they
said it would.  He always had something
else to do, or didn’t have money with him. 
Jesus’ followers probably went through the same things that
we go through when we believe something that may seem far-fetched.  From the moment that Jesus said “It is
Finished” and gave up His spirit on Friday, until He was raised from the
dead on Sunday, I’m sure his followers were terrified and met with a depression
that they had never felt before.  They
put all of their hope in this Jesus whom they just watched mocked ridiculed, beaten
and killed.   They weren’t the only ones who put their hope
in a lofty conclusion.
Since the death and resurrection of Christ, well over 100
documented predictions of the rapture or end of the world have occurred. 
Some examples:
500 AD three separate predictions were made that Jesus would
return then.  One was based upon the
dimensions of the ark.
January 1st, 1000 AD – Various people including the pope
predicted the end of the world on this date.
Based upon the January 1st 1000 AD failed prediction, many
people predicted that it must have been in 1033 AD, since that was 1,000 years
after his death, since 1,000 years after his birth didn’t happen.
1284 AD, Another pope predicted the world would end in 1284
since it was 666 years after the rise of islam.
1524 London Astrologers predicted the world would end by a
flood.  20,000 people fled their homes.
1910 Camille Flammarion predicted that Halley’s comet would
possibly end life on the planet, and sold “comet pills” to many
people, claiming they would protect against toxic gases.
1967 George Van Tassel claimed southeastern US would be
destroyed by a soviet nuclear attack.  He
claimed to get this information from an alien named Ashtar.
I heard one that wrote a book “1,987 reasons why the
world will end in 1987”.  When that
didn’t happen, the book was revised to “1,988 reasons why the world will
end in 1988”.  the last reason being
“because it didn’t end in 1987.”
2000 – Predictions of a Y2K computer bug that
would crash many computers and cause malfunctions leading to major catastrophes
worldwide, and that society would cease to function.
2003 – Nancy Lieder originally predicted the date for the Nibiru
as May 2003. According to her website, aliens in the Zeta
Reticuli star system told her through messages via a brain implant of a planet
which would enter our solar system and cause a pole shift on earth that would
destroy most of humanity.
December 21, 2012 – Millions of people worried about the
Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world by way of and astroid, alien
attack or various other possibilities.
Even today, people are predicting the end of the world based
upon the 4 blood moons that we are experiencing, but I do know one far-fetch
thing that some people 2,000 years ago believed that actually did come
I’m sure all kinds of speculation was popping up back in
Jesus’ time also.  Jesus’ followers were
probably holding their breath and worried all Saturday about what was
And then Sunday happened.
Jesus overcame death and was raised from the dead.  You don’t have to just take the Bible’s word
for it either – there are many other historical documents outside of the Bible
that mention Jesus.
On Friday, about 2,000 years ago, Jesus’ followers had to
watch the kindest, most wonderful man who was healing the sick, performing
miracles and casting out demons die a horrific death on the cross … because
you, me and his followers back then were sinners. 
Can you imagine how it feels to see someone suffer because
of something you did?  Not just anyone –
but someone you loved dearly – the person you loved more than anyone else in
life.  Imagine having to watch them die
on the cross for what you did wrong.  How
many looked at Jesus suffering on the cross thinking to themselves “that
should be me up there, not Him!”
Think about that this Easter. 
Let me ask you this – are you sure of where
you are going after you die?  Do you know
that you are going to heaven?  A lot of
people I talk to say they “think” they are going to heaven because
they are good people.  The Bible doesn’t
say you will be saved by being good.  As
a matter of fact, it says you cannot be saved by being good. 
Here are a few verses to remember:
Romans 3:23 says for all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God.
In other words, ALL have sinned, and because
we have sinned, there is some bad news coming! 
It is found in Romans 6:23 –
Romans 6:23a says  For the
wages of sin is death,
So, our sin = death!
It doesn’t stop there though!  Here is the good news in Romans 6:23b –
BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Continuing on …
Romans 5:8  But God
demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ
died for us.
So, the question is, how can we be
saved?  The Bible has that answer too …
Romans 10:9 –   If you declare with your
mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the
dead, you will be saved.
Keep in mind that salvation has absolutely nothing to do
with how “good” or “bad” we are. 
Ephesians 2:8-9 says For it is by grace you
have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift
of God—  not
by works, so that no one can boast.
Salvation is a complete gift from God – by
way of Jesus dying on the cross and raising on the third day!
Though it happened 2,000 years ago, it is something
that should be remembered.  What an
awesome God we have!
If you have any questions or comments,
please feel free to write me!  Please enjoy this little you tube video on your way out 🙂